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    Microplastic Pollution: Have you heard of it?

    created by JessicaZ. 376 days 11 hours 22 minutes ago

    Category: World

    Microplastic Pollution: Have you heard of it?

    Hey guys! I just want to touch on the subject of microplastics today, I was just helping my brother with a school project on microplastics and learned quite a bit so thought I would share.

    (Bear with me, its a long one!)

    So microplastics are described as being under 5mm in diameter, and can appear invisible to the human eye. Recent studies have shown filter feeders like oyster, mussel and clams are mistaking these microplastics as food and ingesting them. There is very limited research to determine the consequences of marine life ingesting these microplastics, since research on the topic of micro plastics only goes back about 10 years.

    But what we do know is that if people eat these filter feeders then we are indirectly ingesting plastics. Pretty freaky, right?

    I was surprised to learn that 70% of microplastics derive from clothing like polyester and fleece; these materials break “up” when we wash our clothes. The used water goes to a filtration system, but these filters are often too large to catch micro-plastics, which then make their way back to the water and the ocean.

    There is more to be said about this topic, but I just wanted to bring it to your attention in case you hadn’t heard of it like me, and ask you what your ideas and concerns are, if any, on microplastics!

    Have you heard of it? Taken steps to avoid contributing to microplastic pollution? Do you feel safe eating filter feeders, with the knowledge that you could be ingesting plastic at the same time?

    Love to hear your thoughts!


    Re: Microplastic Pollution: Have you heard of it?

    Hi JessicaZ,

    At the start of the semester we had a presentation in my entrepreneuship class and this kid brought it to our attention. I don't remember all that he said but I remember that there was some type of invention that someone came up with to help clean it up.

    The problem that they encountered is that this is removing both microplastic and plankton and other stuff needed in the ocean. The long-term impact of this is so scary. To be honest I need to do some research on what we can do as singular individuals to help with this problem. It is so scary to think we arr investing plastics.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention! You have done a public service!


    Re: Microplastic Pollution: Have you heard of it?

    Hey Jess!

    I've actually never heard of microplastics until today! This is pretty interesting... I consume a lot of seafood/shellfish, so it's kind of weird to be thinking I'm also ingesting plastic. But is the amount of plastic significant enough to have a bad effect on our bodies? Fortunately, not that I've experienced! So therefore, I feel relatively safe eating on things that have consumed these microplastics.

    - Kyle

    Re: Microplastic Pollution: Have you heard of it?

    Hey JessicaZ!

    I heard about this a couple of years ago when they were taking measures to ban facial wash that contain micro-beads. I believe it’s actually illegal now. The beads would pass through the filtration system and ingested by marine life.

    I didn’t know about the clothing, or that there were that many things causing so much micro-plastic pollution!


    Re: Microplastic Pollution: Have you heard of it?

    I hate plastic so much. I was outraged to hear that one of the causes of micoplastic pollution (in the ocean but also in the Great Lakes), is body wash exfoliant pellets. Seriously! There are literally a million other natural things they could be using besides plastic to exfoliate skin. Coffee grounds, or any seed really that is ground, how about teeny tiny grains of sand or soft stone, why plastic! Fish eat it, we eat fish, we wonder where our cancer comes from.

    I had no idea that our laundry would contribute to microplastic in the ocean, but it totally makes sense. This is where the world can benefit from people supporting and wearing natural fabrics like organic cotton and linen. The ocean requires a delicate balance, and humans are messing up that shit in all sorts of ways. The ocean only creates most of our oxygen, so lets take care of it.

    Awesome post!

    Re: Microplastic Pollution: Have you heard of it?

    Wow you learn something new everyday and I just learned a few things reading this forum. First of all I never knew those little beads were plastic in the face and body wash or never thought to question what it was. I am a lot more cautious nowadays on what I use topically and internally. I don't ingest any flesh so that part doesn't directly affect me or my family, however that is devastating to learn of yet another thing we have begun to destroy.

    Thanks for the knowledge,

    Re: Microplastic Pollution: Have you heard of it?

    Hey everyone,

    Cory mentioned the face wash beads that were banned. But I have hand sanitizer that has micro beads in it. Those dissolve right on my hands, but now I'm wondering if I wash my hands later on in the day - if the waste water is contributing to this pollution.

    I had no idea polyester and fleece clothing could do such a thing. It makes me think humans are doing so much more damage to the earth than we actually realize.

    Maybe the solution is going back to all natural materials like leather, cotton and wool.

    It's pretty scary to think I'm ingesting plastic, but also scary to think that our entire ecosystem is compromised by washing my polyester clothing!

    What can we do to reduce our personal pollution making habits? Any ideas?

    Thanks for the forum,

    Re: Microplastic Pollution: Have you heard of it?

    I haven't heard of this issue before and I'm glad you're sharing with us about it. I never realized the little things I do everyday like washing with soap products, washing my clothing, or like shopping for clothing would have this kind of impact on our environment. I never really paid attention much to the materials of the clothing that I buy when I go shopping, so maybe next time around I should be more attentive in this matter and try to avoid polyester and fleece materials and opt for cotton or other natural materials. It kind of shocks me a bit because this issue has been going on for over 10 years and this is kind of the first thing I really became aware of the issue.. I'm quiet concerned though about the fact that our marine animals are ingesting these materials as well as for our own health when we consume the sea animals...
    I'm glad you brought this issue to light! It definitely perked my interest. Although I can't offer any solution right now except for maybe being more conscious of the things you buy, what kind of materials they're made out of so as to cut back on excreting environmentally harmful wastes, as well as maybe just avoid consuming marine organisms to avoid the detrimental impact it can have on our health in the long run.

    Thanks for sharing the information though! Have a good one!